Thursday, May 25, 2023

Q&A with Jasmin Iolani Hakes

From my Q&A with Jasmin Iolani Hakes, author of Hula: A Novel:
How much work does your title do to take readers into the story?

There was never a question of what the title was going to be for this book. Ancient Hawaiʻi was an oral culture full of epic poetry and performative arts. Hula and chants were ways to pass down the histories and explanations of various people, gods and goddesses, geological happenings like volcanic eruptions and valleys chronically full of mist, of flora and fauna, and of other ancient practices. I wanted to write a story about my hometown of Hilo that somehow captured the complexities of contemporary Hawaiʻi, its subtle cultural nuances, and present it in all its layered glory. So in that way, Hula is not a book about hula, it is a hula, in literary form. The word Hilo means to braid, so I laid out the book in verses and weaved the stories together to present a Hawaiʻi that...[read on]
Visit Jasmin Iolani's website.

Q&A with Jasmin Iolani Hakes.

--Marshal Zeringue